Canoeing on Lake Mezzola
You don’t need the courage of Indiana Jones or the muscles of Mike Tyson to enjoy an alternative day in a canoe, in contact with nature …
… even if, after two days, I still feel some pain in my arms to be honest. But I guarantee you that if this is the price to pay for the wonderful day spent, well, I can stand it!
THE PERFECT MORNING
The climate is ideal for a trip to the lake: the sun has all the sky for itself, it doesn’t have to share it with any cloud; the morning breeze is enough to give a little cool but it is not strong enough to shake the lake which, when we arrive, is a calm mirror. With Clara and Maria we decide not to be lazy but to take advantage of the beautiful day to do something different. So, we leave the car at the beach of Novate but we don’t stop at the beach, we walk instead on the path and in less than ten minutes we reach the kiosk of Gianni.
GIANNI AND LUCA
On our arrival we find a closed kiosk and canoes in plain sight. There are two guys who, like we do, want to go out in a canoe. They greet us and inform us that they already called Luca, Gianni’s son, who arrives shortly after apologizing for the delay. Luca and Gianni in the summer never stop, every day you can go to their kiosk and rent canoes, bicycles and sup to enjoy the lake and the Valtellina and Valchiavenna cycle paths as protagonists. If, as happened to us, you do not find them, you just need to make a phone call to the number indicated and they’ll arrive in a rush.
EXPERT OR BEGINNER? THE FUN IS ASSURED AND IN ALL SAFETY!
Clara take a single canoe, she’s quite expert and prefers to row at her pace. Maria and I, on the other hand, have always used double canoes and are not sure about what to rent. In the end we decide to try something new and we also take a single canoe, after wearing the life jacket. The canoes are very stable and even the people who go canoeing for the first time immediately realize that overturning is practically impossible, but soon we will be in the middle of the lake and precautions are never too many. That’s why we also decide to leave our backpacks at the kiosk: Luca tells us that we will certainly get wet and we don’t want to risk our phones and cameras.
THE VALLEY FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE
From the first few meters we gradually gain confidence with our canoe. The one I rent is very sensitive and at each row changes slightly the direction, which causes a series of harmless rear-end collisions, countless jokes and big laughs. It takes me a while to control the direction, but once I find the most comfortable position I enjoy alternating energetic sprinting with mild paddling. Maria suddenly tells us “girls, look around a little!”. It is 10 am and we are alone in the middle of the lake, there is a surreal silence and the water is crystal clear. From here we have a completely different view on Novate Mezzola and Verceia, from where the Hotel Saligari also appears. We enjoy the view in peace and then we get back in motion to reach our first goal.
ON THE BEACH OF SAN FEDELINO BETWEEN FISHES, SQUIRRELS AND ANTI-MOSQUITO SPRAY
Finally we arrive at the beach of San Fedelino, where the river Mera enters the lake. We leave the canoes on the shore and dive to the knees to refresh ourselves a bit. Here, the water is transparent and there are lots of little fishes swimming around and keeping themselves at a certain distance. Fortunately we have with us, in addition to a bottle of water, an anti-mosquito spray: essentiall to get “safely” from the beach to the temple of San Fedelino! During these two minutes walking in the woods we see two squirrels closely chasing each other on a tree … It’s amazing how in these areas you can easily pass from the comforts of a town to the wonders of unspoiled nature!
LOOKING FOR THE LITTLE WATERFALL
We decide to get back on track to reach our second goal: a small waterfall that is about halfway up the west side of the lake. We do not remember well where it is, so we row along the side of the mountain. The temperature has risen and we began to feel the effort, so we decide to take advantage of a moment of pause to enjoy this incredible situation. There are no beaches or open spaces on this side of the lake, it’s as if the mountain emerged directly from the water. The sun’s rays are reflected on the rock and they form hypnotic light plays.
A SHOWER AND BACK TO THE SHORE!
Just after a very nice and isolated cottage we find the small waterfall. We leave the canoes on the tiny beach in front of it and we throw our heads under the water: a nice shower is just what it takes to recover the energy! There is also a family that has arrived by motorboat and enjoys this hidden corner of the world. Refreshed and regenerated, on board our canoes we leave to go back to Gianni’s kiosk, crossing the lake between splashes and jokes.
THE PERFECT FINAL DETAIL OF A BEAUTIFUL MORNING IN CANOE
We return to the base, leave the canoes and take back our backpacks. It is now time for lunch and the stomach grumbles for a few minutes, why not listen to it? We take a seat in the shade of a tree and order water and sandwiches while, enthusiastically, we already plan another trip in a canoe… or maybe, the next time we will try with the sup!